The following is a guest post Dr. Timothy Tomkinson.
The other day I stumbled across this poem by Tennyson. Written a hundred and thirty two years ago and although a little garish, it is remarkably relevant to the present day. Of course there can be many interpretations but beyond the slightly grating overtones it is high-minded and enduring. At its core it calls for individual freedom, and discerns where balances of power lie.
It is a splendid tribute to an enduring outlook, as he correctly states the priority that the UK and Anglosphere have traditionally put on freedom. To paraphrase Disraeli, “I prefer the liberties we now enjoy to the liberalism they profess, and find something better than the Rights of Man in the Rights of Englishmen”. That is the sentiment echoed in the poem and borne out today. The fact that in the UK one may prefer the freedoms and liberties that we have been gifted, more than the illusory rights professed by more authoritarian regimes (although the times are changing).Read more